Essay, Research Paper: Crucible Salem Episode
Literature: Arthur Miller
the Puritan era. It was the witch-trials that decided the fate of so many of the
accused. Arthur Miller, the author of The Crucible uses the Salem episode as a
parallel to an event in the 1950s known as the "Red Scare". He
associates many incidents of the "Red Scare" with that of the Salem
witch-trials. Such incidents as: witch-hunts, hysteria, and cupidity which all
entwines with both the " Red Scare" and The Crucible. One may ask,
"What's a witch hunt?" It could be described as "the searching
out and deliberate harassment of those with unpopular views". In The
Crucible a group of girls start a witch-hunt as a cover up for their own
misdoing. It results with the idea that naming names will pardon one from
execution. The author tries to build up the reader and audience's feelings on
"shifting blame", and points out that even though the accused was
pardoned, the community will always have suspicions of them. An outbreak of
peculiar insanity called mass hysteria also infected Salem. The Crucible
demonstrates how fear can be spread through a community with such ease. It's a
fear that someone may possess them or accuse them of being a possessor. This
fear caused the hysteria throughout Salem. Community grudges and cupidity also
took a role in The Crucible. For instance Abigail is jealous of Elizabeth
Proctor, so Abigail accuses her of witchcraft in order to get rid of her. Other
instances occur when neighbors accuse each other of witchcraft over the
opportunity to gain more land. This causes the community to slowly disintegrate.
Arthur Miller tells the story through John Proctor's point of view. This makes
the audience sympathetic to the incidences that happen to him throughout the
play. He is a victim of the witch-hunt, hysteria and cupidity that meanders
throughout Salem. The reader or audience may not know that Arthur Miller was a
victim of the "Red Scare" but his underlying point is that witch-hunt
occurrences, hysteria, and cupidity are very possible and are still possible to
this day and it can be very disintegrating to a community.
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